Book Review: “Philosophy and Criticism in Latin America” by Mabel Moraña

“Mabel Moraña’s extensive commentaries on cultural emancipation in Latin America are a notable contribution to scholarship on that region’s sociocultural development. … From José Carlos Mariátegui, Enrique Dussel, Bolívar Echeverría, and Roger Bartra to global thinkers such as Michel Foucault, Walter Benjamin, and Pierre Bourdieu, Moraña takes her readers on a tour-de-force voyage through significant landscapes of thought that have influenced the development of Latin America. As Moraña analyzes the work of well-known philosophers, critics, and writers alongside less-commonly studied theorists, she adeptly presents the reader with “quite different thinkers, but they have in common the objective of deconstructing the discourse of power from different angles” (21). Specifically, the work focuses intently on “the hegemony, privilege, and inequality” that the author views as “inherent to capitalism” (293). Moraña, thus, argues through the words of varied philosophers and her own criticism that “the notion of emancipation itself should not be restricted to the analysis of political programs or protest movements” (33), but rather involve the cultural liberation of thought as well. … fresh, bold, and enlightening. … Beyond scholarship, Hispania readers may also be interested in the work’s prospective value in the classroom. Sections of the book could be used with careful planning as readings in an advanced undergraduate course … Moraña’s work has certainly enlarged my understanding of Latin American development and challenged my perspectives in positive ways.” —Hispania

This book is in the Cambria Latin American Literatures and Cultures Series headed by Professor Román de la Campa (University of Pennsylvania).

About the Author: Mabel Moraña is the William H. Gass Professor in Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to more than forty edited volumes, Dr. Moraña has authored fourteen books, including The Monster as War Machine and Arguedas / Vargas Llosa: Dilemas y ensamblajes, which won the 2013 MLA Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize.

Philosophy and Criticism in Latin America: From Mariátegui to Sloterdijk is available in hardcover, paperback, and multiple digital formats. Order at the Cambria Press website.

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